Aug 29, 2006

Movie Stars Aren't Worth It

Professors did studies and found Hollywood stars are really only good for "helping a movie open — attracting lots of people in to see a movie in the first few days before the buzz about whether it’s good or bad is widely known." Overall, however, they're not worth what they're paid.

“Movies with stars are successful not because of the star, but because the star chooses projects that people tend to like,” said Arthur S. De Vany, a professor emeritus of economics at the University of California, Irvine, who has written extensively about the economics of moviemaking. “It’s a movie that makes a star.”

In other words, while a person will go to a Bruce Springsteen concert because the artist is, indeed, Bruce Springsteen, the success of “The Matrix” had to do with many things other than its star, Keanu Reeves.
And here are a couple fun lists:
"Looking across a sample of more than 2,000 movies exhibited between 1985 and 1996, they found that only seven actors and actresses — Tom Hanks, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Jodie Foster, Jim Carrey, Barbra Streisand and Robin Williams — had a positive impact on the box office, mostly in the first few weeks of a film’s release.

In the same study, two directors, Steven Spielberg and Oliver Stone also pushed up a movie’s revenue. But Winona Ryder, Sharon Stone and Val Kilmer were associated with a smaller box-office revenue. No other star had any statistically significant impact at all."
I find this fascinating.

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